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YouTube is blocking LGBTQ+ content in its restricted mode, and content creators aren’t pleased.
According to the platform, the mode is used to “screen out potentially objectionable content that you may prefer not to see or don’t want others in your family to see on YouTube.”
“We use community flagging, age-restrictions, and other signals to identify and filter out potentially inappropriate content,” it writes.
Tyler Oakley — one of YouTube’s most popular creators with over eight million subscribers — was one of the first to pick up on the censorship.
until we hear back from @youtube, please actively check on all LGBTQ+ creators you’re subscribed to & continue to support their content.
— Tyler Oakley (@tyleroakley) March 19, 2017
YouTube told The Guardian that Restricted Mode is used by a “tiny subset of users” and that sensitive topics “that cover subjects like health, politics and sexuality may not appear.” But if that’s the case, the algorithm doesn’t work. Oakley’s video that was censored was about “black LGBTQ+ trailblazers” that inspire him. The video acts more as a history lesson than one of sex ed.
‘With the click of a button YouTube’s restricted mode makes me appear straight’
Other YouTubers have picked up on the strange screening as well.
ALL 3 OF MY RECENT VIDEOS (ABOUT ME BEING TRANS) ARE GONE AFTER YOU TURN ON HE AGE RESTRICTION FILTER I’M SO UPSET. 😡 https://t.co/IpVnL7zfph
— Seaine (@SeaineLove) March 17, 2017
Just looked at my videos with the “restricted mode” on. Seeing a bit of a theme here…
— fiona ✨ (@neonfiona) March 16, 2017
Melanie Murphy, a YouTuber who uses her platform to discuss bisexuality among other things, saw many of her videos hidden in Restricted Mode. One even included a candid talk about menstruation and the products she prefers using.
With the click of a button YouTube’s restricted mode makes me appear straight. Even when you dig/type in my name + bisexuality, this happens pic.twitter.com/JKbivanJdS
— Melanie Murphy (@melaniietweets) March 19, 2017
YouTube has since tweeted an apology, but popular creators Jenna Marbles and Hank Green didn’t feel it was honest.
A message to our community … pic.twitter.com/oHNiiI7CVs
— YouTube Creators (@YTCreators) March 20, 2017
— Jenna Marbles (@Jenna_Marbles) March 20, 2017
@YTCreators Step 1: Agree that there is a problem. Step 2: Suspend the program. Step 3: Thank creators for discovering this problem.
— Hank Green (@hankgreen) March 20, 2017
Restricted Mode is still up and censoring LGBT content at the time of writing.
Featured image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr (CC 2.0, resized)